July/Aug 2020 • Vol. XLII No. 4 Poetry |

Canto IX

— for Jorie Graham To read is to know again or to read is to return to knowing but knowing is not the ordered stacks in the library mind is what comes into being or what like a debt falls due or of events what comes to be as branches and roots are symmetries of the single seed and also knowing is to be born so that the sparrows when they sing in Greek sing genos and sing gynos from house eaves or rain gutters and the silence after insists knowing is not the index of facts but the mother’s face when she turns her face aside from what it is or who it is she’s made then turns the brightness back on the white of her eyes which is the white after but not the white before the poem is that white that is what the eye loses when the poem is over and to read is to return to the top of the page and be born again • • a word in the desert or a word in the wilderness or the mouthless logos spoken divides firmament from earth and earth from water how mark the midpoint in what has no

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Dan Beachy-Quick is a poet, essayist, and occasional novelist, whose most recent books include gentlessness (Tupelo Press) and Shields & Shards & Stitches & Songs (Omnidawn). His work has been supported by the Guggenheim and Lannan Foundations, and he teaches in the MFA program at Colorado State University.

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